North West Business Notes: Fund Her North; Near-life; Liverpool One; Housing Cobalt; EY


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Fund Her North, the collective of 28 northern volunteers working to improve access to finance for women-led businesses, has announced a new partnership with UBS, the global wealth manager.

Fund Her North is a voluntary collective of over 28 women in venture capital, funding organizations and angel investor groups with a combined investment power of over £450m in the North. He says he has already had a lasting effect on women entrepreneurs across the North with a combined investment record of over £75million invested in start-ups led by women.

As one of the world’s largest wealth managers, the partnership with UBS will expand Fund Her North’s network and capabilities to support women entrepreneurs seeking personal finance advice and advice on business strategies. financing, from start-up to growth phases. UBS will provide support and expertise to high net worth members and those who may need advice on the personal impact of any additional business financing or business sale.

Additionally, the partnership will provide Fund Her North’s private investors with wealth management advice and guidance for their investments, drawing on the organization’s network of investors. Jane Booth, Regional Head of North West at UBS, will be given a seat on the Fund Her North advisory board as part of the partnership and will participate in a series of events for women entrepreneurs and people affected by UBS.

Samantha Piddington, Co-Founder and Head of Strategic Partnerships at Fund Her North, said: “UBS is strongly aligned with our mission to address imbalances in access to finance for women-founded businesses, so this was a obvious choice for our next phase with Fund Son Nord. They are able to bring a unique perspective, not only supporting women entrepreneurs with high growth ambitions, but also playing an important role in supporting our female investors. »

Jane Booth said: “It is essential that women entrepreneurs and investors have confidence in making long-term financial decisions, as this not only increases their chances of financial security, but also allows them to feel more optimistic about their future. the future and achieve their growth ambitions. I am pleased that we are able to offer this support to members of Fund Her North. This partnership aligns strongly with UBS’s long-standing global program of empowering women in financial decision-making, meeting their financial needs and investing with a gender perspective.


GMP Officers

EdTech based in Bolton, Near-Life, has launched an immersive learning program for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) which will support their work in tackling child sexual exploitation and protect some of the most vulnerable members of the society.

The pilot project received £241,000 in funding from Innovate UK in November 2020, to accelerate the development of an interactive learning curriculum suitable for complex investigations – an area of ​​police training identified as challenging and most needed. In partnership with GMP, Near-Life has developed a comprehensive course built using its Near-Life CREATOR+ interactive video software, which uses playful simulation technology. Learners have the opportunity to take on both the roles of agent and investigator in a simulated case of child sexual exploitation.

Each module includes a combination of written and video content on a range of topics from unconscious bias and recognizing risk factors, to thoroughly tracing a missing person’s home and using appropriate language policy . The modules end with an interactive scenario where the user is given decisions to make in a simulated investigation. Their choice dictates what happens next in the simulation.

The technology will enable better tracking of learning-based performance and outcomes, supporting an improved knowledge base that will allow GMP to share best practice examples of how digital simulations can support learning and training for complex investigations.

Mike Todd, CEO of Near-Life, said: “Through our work with Greater Manchester Police over the past 12 months, we really need to understand, in practice, the potential of using a playful simulation approach to deal with a complex and sensitive situation. and a difficult subject like investigating potential cases of child sexual exploitation. The benefit of using immersive learning is that it allows you to create real-world scenarios and environments tailored to user and business needs. A study published by OFCOM revealed that it can improve knowledge retention by up to 90%. »

Superintendent Gareth Parkin said: “GMP is constantly looking to improve learning to help keep our communities safe. This interactive pilot project with Near-Life, which focuses on a very important topic, is a key part of our ongoing efforts to explore new ways in which innovation can support our work.


On the Green, Liverpool One

Grosvenor, the owner of Liverpool One shopping centre, has announced the opening of On The Green, a high-end concept golf simulation, on the city center site. The brand debuted in a 4,700 square foot venue on The Terrace, bolstering the destination’s already extensive leisure offering.

On The Green is a totally immersive golf experience. Four TrackMan simulators offer a full 18-hole round of golf, giving visitors the choice of 150 of the world’s best courses, including 35 circuit courses, to play on. Trackman 4 technology recreates courses in exquisite detail, delivering a high-definition experience where customers play with a real golf club and ball. The venue also has its own ‘clubhouse’ bar on the terrace overlooking Liverpool One’s Chavasse Park and towards the River Mersey.

Alison Clegg, Managing Director, Asset Management, Grosvenor, said: “We are very pleased to welcome On The Green to Liverpool One, in what is their first site. The brand’s opening further reinforces Liverpool One’s credentials as the go-to venue for a full-day experience.

Matt Hatchard, Director of On The Green, said: “We are extremely delighted to have launched On The Green at Liverpool One. We chose Liverpool for our first location because it is the most sociable city in the UK, attracting visitors from across the country and beyond. Liverpool One was the obvious place to be in the city, due to its superb terrace, highly accessible city center location and growing group of leisure concepts located at the destination. Its appeal is reflected in its performance, and we’re confident it will be a great launch site for On The Green.

Metis and Savills played for Liverpool One. On The Green dealt directly.


Alan Rogers

Liverpool-based Cobalt Housing has announced that chief executive Alan Rogers will retire later this year after 11 years with the organization and nearly 40 years in the housing industry.

Alan has been involved with Cobalt since 1999, when he worked for Liverpool City Council on the transfer of shares. Prior to his role at Cobalt – and with former parent company Symphony Housing – he worked at Liverpool Housing Trust as Director of Regeneration and at Riverside Housing as Deputy Director of Housing Market Renewal.

He began his career with Liverpool City Council in 1979 and spent over 20 years with the council before moving to Riverside. The recruitment process for Cobalt’s next CEO will begin shortly, led by the Board of Directors.

Alan said: “It is with a heavy heart that I have decided that it is time for me to retire. It was a very difficult decision, but I believe it is the right one for me and Cobalt. I leave Cobalt in a very strong position in terms of performance, staff and board members and I am confident that we will continue to get better and better.

“Cobalt has always been tenant driven and I’m sure that will continue in the future. For me, the best and only way to overcome the challenges ahead is to work with tenants and the wider community to build resilience and provide mutual support.


Sam Woodward

The number of profit warnings issued by North West listed companies fell significantly to 26 in 2021 from 48 in 2020, according to EY Parthenon’s latest report on profit warnings.

In the North West, warnings were heavily weighted until the fourth quarter of the year, when 15 were issued, as supply chain disruption and cost pressures affected many businesses. This is a significant increase from the fourth quarter of 2020, when only three warnings were issued.

Following the UK trend, companies in the FTSE’s consumer discretionary sectors have been the hardest hit throughout the year in the North West, including nine retail profit warnings in 2021. In the fourth quarter, a third of the region’s profit warnings have been issued by FTSE retailers.

Sam Woodward, EY-Parthenon’s turnaround and restructuring strategy partner in the North West, said: “In 2021, the majority of North West companies issuing profit warnings did so in the fourth quarter, with warnings up 12 from the fourth quarter of 2020. In line with the rest of the UK, one of the hardest hit sectors was retail, with five warnings from retailers in the fourth quarter of 2021 alone . »

“Companies rebounded well from the pandemic in the first half of 2021 with healthy overall growth, but in the second half an increasing number of companies issued earnings warnings amid forecasting and earnings challenges. evolved and multiplied.”

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